Some good MP3 deals for those who are shopping at Amazon anyway: Buy $20 or more in Kindle Accessories, Get $5 in MP3s (expires today, must use by Aug 31) and Get $5 in MP3s with the Purchase of $25 or More in Textbooks (esp 9/30)
Castles, the fourth title in Julie Garwood's Crown's Spies series, is only a penny in the Kindle store. While I would not put it in the same "must-have" category as Hamlet (also still a penny in the Penguin edition, tonight), if you read the genre, it's a must-buy at this price (and liable to go up soon). I also see her stand-alone A Girl Named Summer on sale for $3.99.
Orphaned and besieged, Princess Alesandra knew that only a hasty marriage to an Englishman could protect her from the turmoil in her own land. To the amusement of her makeshift guardian, Colin, younger brother of the Marquess of Cainewood, the bold, raven-haired beauty instantly captivated London society. But when Alesandra was nearly abducted by her unscrupulous countrymen, the fighting instincts that won Colin a knighthood for valor were rekindled. Deceiving himself that he wanted only to protect her, Colin swept her into a union meant to be a marriage in name alone . . . yet Alesandra’s tender first kiss and hesitant caress ignited a wildfire in his soul. As the lovely princess dashed headlong into unforeseen dangers, Colin would follow, knowing he must claim her as his own forever. Now he would risk life itself before he would lose this sweet, tempestuous angel. . . .
Death in the Haight ($2.99 pre-order), by Tierney Ronald; I suspect this will end up being a novella prequel for Death in Pacific Heights: A Carly Paladino and Noah Lang Mystery, which can only be pre-ordered in paper editions, so far.
When Michael Vanderveer goes missing in San Francisco, Private Investigator Noah Lang assumes it’s just another runaway escaping to the Haight, San Francisco’s home to the displaced… until the homicide cops pay him a visit. Fifteen-year-old Michael has been implicated in the murder of a prostitute, and the police don’t want Lang mucking up their investigation — especially Inspector Stern, who has strong opinions about Lang’s questionable past. But Lang becomes inextricably involved when he is hired by Michael’s parents: Michael is being ransomed, and they want Lang to ensure the exchange goes smoothly.
As everyone waits for the kidnappers to make their next move, Lang struggles with the Vandeveers’, impatient with waiting and far from their Michigan home; with the twisted, confusing details of the case; with the moral implications of rescuing Michael, only to have to turn him in for murder; and with Stern, who’s increasingly volatile behavior may just put Lang’s life in as grave danger as Michael’s.
The Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole Noir, by Ken Harmon, is on sale for some of you who are often skipped over: $2.82 in Australia, Asia & Pacific, India, Latin America & Carribean, $4.82 in Africa and the Middle East, but it's $17 and up for those in the US, UK and Canada (and just under $15 in Europe).
A satire of traditional Christmas stories and noir, The Fat Man makes the perfect gift for the literary-minded.
A hardboiled elf is framed for murder in a North Pole world that plays reindeer games for keeps, and where favorite holiday characters live complex lives beyond December.
Fired from his longtime job as captain of the Coal Patrol, two-foot-three inch 1,300-year-old elf Gumdrop Coal is angry. He's one of Santa's original elves, inspired by the fat man's vision to bring joy to children on that one special day each year. But somewhere along the way things went sour for Gumdrop. Maybe it was delivering one too many lumps of coal for the Naughty List. Maybe it's the conspiracy against Christmas that he's starting to sense down every chimney. Either way, North Pole disillusionment is nothing new: Some elves brood with a bottle of nog, trying to forget their own wish list. Some get better. Some get bitter. Gumdrop Coal wants revenge. Justice is the only thing he knows, and so he decides to give a serious wakeup call to parents who can't keep their vile offspring from landing on the Naughty List. But when one parent winds up dead, his eye shot out with a Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model BB gun, Gumdrop Coal must learn who framed him and why. Along the way he'll escape the life-sucking plants of the Mistletoe Forrest, battle the infamous Tannenbomb Giant, and survive a close encounter with twelve very angry drummers and their violent friends. The horrible truth lurking behind the gingerbread doors of Kringle Town could spell the end of Christmas-and of the fat man himself. Holly Jolly!
King of the Damned, the second title in the League of Guardians series by Juliana Stone, is a $4.99 pre-order. The first in her Jaguar Warrior series, His Darkest Hunger, is still 99 cents (although I suspect not for long).
For millennia the struggle between light and dark, between the upper and lower realms, has been policed by a secret group of warriors culled from every fabric of existence. They are both otherworld and human, male and female. They are light and dark themselves and known to each other as the League of Guardians. Their pledge, to protect the line between dominions and make sure neither side grows too powerful. If they fall, so shall the earth, the heavens and hell. And there will be no more.
With darkness all around him, The League of Guardians is his only means of redemption...
Azaiel, the fallen, has been given a second chance to atone for the sins of his past. With demons gathering and threatening the league, he must find out if their circle has been breached. What he doesn't foresee is a woman--a fierce warrior--who will turn his world upside down and awaken his tortured soul.
Rowan James is a powerful witch out to avenge the death of her beloved grandmother, but she needs an ally. Will she be able to trust a man with secrets as dark as the sorrow in his eyes? Loving Rowan means risking salvation and yet Azaiel cannot ignore the hunger burning hot between them--his one last chance at happiness. With danger all around them, will these two desperate souls finally find love in each other? Or be forever damned...
Secrets of a Proper Countess ($0.99), by Lecia Cornwall
Some secrets we take to the grave. Others we just take to bed . . .
Lady Isobel Maitland cannot afford to be caught doing anything even remotely scandalous, or she risks losing everything she holds dear. But one night, in a dark garden at a masquerade ball, Isobel gives in to temptation and lets an innocent flirtation with the notorious Marquess of Blackwood turn into passion.
The Marquess is no stranger to seduction or intrigue, and his rake's reputation disguises a deadly mission. When his mystery lover flees before he can learn her name, he knows he must find her. But all clues lead toward the prim and dowdy Isobel Maitland. It appears the lady has secrets of her own, secrets that Blackwood would dearly love to uncover . . .
Star Strike ($0.99) is the first novel of the Inheritance Trilogy by Ian Douglas. I've picked this one up, but haven't had a chance to read it, yet. I have read his Semper Mars/Heritage Trilogy series though and greatly recommend the author.
Planet by planet, galaxy by galaxy, the inhabited universe has fallen to the alien Xul.
Now only one obstacle stands between them and total domination: the warriors of a resilient race the world-devourers nearly annihilated centuries ago . . .
A power vast, ancient, and terrifying, the mighty Xul have lost track of the insignificant humans hundreds of years after devastating their home world—which has enabled the United Star Marines to operate unnoticed and unhindered. A near-autonomous intergalactic policing force, they battle in defense of an Earth they may not live to see again. Now, following the trail of a vanished twenty-fourth-century transport, they are journeying through an unexplored stargate to the edge of an unknown galaxy many light years from their sun. For the last, best, and only chance to defeat the tyrants of the universe may at long last be at hand . . .
The Cake Mix Doctor Returns!: With 160 All-New Recipes ($2.99), by Anne Byrn
What could be better than a phenomenon? The return of a phenomenon. Ten years ago Anne Byrn's The Cake Mix Doctor began its extraordinary run as one of the most popular baking books of all time. Now Anne Byrn is back with the all-new Cake Mix Doctor Returns! From the beloved author who showed home bakers how adding a touch of sweet butter or a dusting of cocoa powder, a dollop of vanilla yogurt or flurry of grated lemon zest could transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Here are 160 brand-new recipes—that’s right, 160 amazing cake mix recipes—for luscious layer cakes, sheet cakes, brownies, bars, cookies, and more.
And the book is needed more than ever. Today 90 percent of home cooks use prepackaged mixes, while the economy is creating a perfect excuse to let them eat cake—cake equals happiness. And what cakes! 40 layer cakes, from Tiramisu Cake to The Best Red Velvet Cake, Strawberry Refrigerator Cake to Chocolate Swirled Cannoli Cake. 35 sheet cakes. 38 bundt and pound cakes. 16 cupcakes and muffins, plus the cult classic Whoopie Pie. And brownies, bars, and cookies, including Spice Drop Cookies, Angel Food Macaroons, and Chocolate Espresso Biscotti. There's even a wedding cake, a frequent request from the author's passionate online community.
The Cake Mix Doctor is back—just say ahhhhh!
Razor's Edge (#3), End Game (#8) and Retribution (#9), by Jim DeFelice and Dale Brown, are just three of the titles in the Dreamland series that are on sale. These are 99 cents apiece, with some others in the series at $1.99 (and Raven Strike (#14) is still free).
Razor's Edge (#3)
The weapon is codenamed "Razor"—the brainchild of the brilliant minds at Dreamland—a mobile chemical laser system with a range of 600 kilometers capable of downing anything that flies. The destruction of an American aircraft over northern Iraq suggests the inexplicable and unthinkable: a vengeful foe now possesses the lethal technology. It is fear that draws a retired warrior back to the battlefield, and sends Dreamland's best pilots to the skies to determine what the enemy has and to help take it away from him. But politics threatens to crush a covert engagement that must be won in the air and on the ground, unleashing a devastating rain of friendly fire that could ultimately annihilate a nation's champions ... and perhaps Dreamland itself.End Game (#8)
A volatile U.S. ally has fallen prey to the terrorist beast. India is the target of radical Islamic jihadists, and the world watches breathlessly as tensions escalate between the uneasy giant and its longtime nemesis Pakistan—with China waiting in the wings, eager to flex its military might. A nuclear showdown seems inevitable, unless the masterminds at Dreamland can get to the mysterious source of the terror and end it, swiftly and permanently. Every technological wonder the military possesses must be employed to avert an all-out Apocalypse—from an awesome new hybrid Navy destroyer to robot Flighthawks. But the fate of the region and the world will depend on the newest brainchild of the Dreamland team: an unproven instrument of ultimate power code-named End Game.Retribution (#9)
In the Nevada desert, the high-tech future of warfare is being conceived and constructed at a top-secret military facility. America’s best defense, they keep the nightmare at bay with astonishing technology.
But now the terror is aimed directly at the heart of Dreamland.
The Dreamland team has used stealth, raw nerve, and technology to defuse nightmares all across the globe. But now the darkness is racing toward America at blinding speed. With more than two dozen nuclear devices unaccounted for, the global masters of terror have set a catastrophe in motion: a surprise attack more deadly than Pearl Harbor and 9/11 combined.
If the nation is to survive, Lieutenant Colonel Tecumseh “Dog” Bastian and his crew will have to reach deep into their cutting-edge arsenal. And they’ll have to do it short-handed—because two of Dreamland’s best and bravest have been lost at sea . . .
All These Things I've Done ($2.99) is the first title in Gabrielle Zevin's Birthright series.
In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.
Guilt by Association ($2.99), by former prosecutor Marcia Clark, has a starred review from Publishers Weekly.
Los Angeles D.A. Rachel Knight is a tenacious, wise-cracking, and fiercely intelligent prosecutor in the city's most elite division. When her colleague, Jake, is found dead at a grisly crime scene, Rachel is shaken to the core. She must take over his toughest case: the assault of a young woman from a prominent family.
But she can't stop herself from digging deeper into Jake's death, a decision that exposes a world of power and violence and will have her risking her reputation--and her life--to find the truth.
With her tremendous expertise in the nuances of L.A. courts and crime, and with a vibrant ensemble cast of characters, Marcia Clark combines intimate detail, riotous humor, and visceral action in a debut thriller that marks the launch of a major new figure on the crime-writing scene.
Silence of the Grave ($2.99), a thriller by Arnaldur Indridason and Bernard Scudder (Translator).
Last year Jar City introduced international crime-writing sensation Arnaldur Indridason to rave reviews and a rousing welcome from American thriller fans. And now, Silence of the Grave, the next in this stunning series has won the coveted Golden Dagger Award. Presented by the British Crime Writers' Association, previous winners of this award include John Le Carre, Minette Walters, Henning Mankell, and James Lee Burke.
In Silence of the Grave, a corpse is found on a hill outside the city, and Detective Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson and his team think the body may have been buried for some years.
While Erlendur struggles to hold together the crumbling fragments of his own family, slowly but surely he finds out the truth about another unhappy family. Few people are still alive who can tell the tale, but even secrets taken to the grave cannot remain hidden forever.
Destined to be a classic in the world of crime fiction, Silence of the Grave is one of the most accomplished thrillers in recent years.
Venus Guy Trap, by Shannon McKelden, is on sale for $1.24 for those in Australia.
Haydee Miller is on the brink of panic. When she was sixteen, she swore that she’d be married by her thirty-third birthday. It’s part of Haydee’s grand Plan, which saved her sanity when her mother died and her father was too overcome by grief to remember he had a teenage daughter. The Plan has guided Haydee for half her life and never failed her. Until now.
With her birthday looming and no Prince Charming in sight, Haydee is surprised to discover that her bookstore’s newest employee is the gorgeous Goddess of Love, Venus herself.
Venus is certain that Haydee’s One True Love is the darkly handsome Derek, a world-renowned photographer who has returned to his hometown to settle down. The only problem? Derek and Haydee fell in love ten years ago—before he abandoned her without a word of farewell, leaving her with a broken heart and a secret she has never revealed.
Somehow Venus must heal this damaged woman and reunite her with her True Love. It won’t be easy. Every man in town, married or not, is pursuing Venus, even when she makes herself over into the ugliest woman on earth. Are her goddess powers malfunctioning? Can she make a Love Match without them?
The Quantum Thief ($2.99), the first title in the series by Hannu Rajaniemi, is one of Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 Science Fiction & Fantasy titles and Library Journal's Best SF/Fantasy Books of 2011. Space opera and chocolate ... what could be better?
Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist, and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy— from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of Mars. Now he’s confined inside the Dilemma Prison, where every day he has to get up and kill himself before his other self can kill him.
Rescued by the mysterious Mieli and her flirtatious spacecraft, Jean is taken to the Oubliette, the Moving City of Mars, where time is currency, memories are treasures, and a moon-turnedsingularity lights the night. What Mieli offers is the chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self—in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed.
As Jean undertakes a series of capers on behalf of Mieli and her mysterious masters, elsewhere in the Oubliette investigator Isidore Beautrelet is called in to investigate the murder of a chocolatier, and finds himself on the trail of an arch-criminal, a man named le Flambeur….
The Quantum Thief is a crazy joyride through the solar system several centuries hence, a world of marching cities, ubiquitous public-key encryption, people communicating by sharing memories, and a race of hyper-advanced humans who originated as MMORPG guild members. But for all its wonders, it is also a story powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge, and jealousy. It is a stunning debut.
Silenced ($2.99) is the fourth title in Allison Brennan's Lucy Kincaid series.
Lucy Kincaid is back—with a vengeance.
A Washington Sex Scandal
It has been seven years since Lucy was attacked—and almost killed—by an online predator. Today, she is well on her way toward a new life.
While waiting to begin her training at the FBI Academy, Lucy’s is tireless in her fight against cyber sex crime. Her current mission: to find out who killed a high-priced call girl linked to a powerful Congressman.
A Cold-Blooded Killer
A number of known prostitutes—with scores of high profile clients—are turning up dead all over D.C. Is this the work of a depraved killer? Or the result of an inside job? Lucy’s investigation will take her into an underground network of prostitutes, the chambers of the country’s most powerful players, and her own dark past to confront an unknown enemy who’s always one step ahead of her. With the help of her P.I. boyfriend Sean Rogan, Lucy must find and protect the only witness who can identify the killer and end the conspiracy, but can the witness be trusted? Lucy will risk everything to expose the truth and ensure justice is served, even if that means putting herself in the line of fire…